Thursday’s Theme: Renovations

Kitchen Renovation by Flickr user SwimPhotoApril is decorating month, and we hope you can find inspiration in the many articles and decor tips right here on our blog. While your spring decorating may consist of cleaning and freshening up your decor, we know many people choose this time of year to start or continue a home renovation project. Because of that, this Thursday’s Theme is home renovations. We have compiled some of the most important things to keep in mind from DIY and renovation bloggers, as well as from home renovation experts, and we can’t wait to hear your own stories – successful and/or frustrating.

Avoid perpetual “under construction”
Can’t wait to re-do your bathroom but your kitchen cabinets still don’t have hardware? Put off that new renovation project until previous projects are completely finished. Updating a room is exciting, but having too many updates going on at once can make your house look like an everlasting, falling-apart-construction-zone.

Don’t skimp on prep-work
Do your homework! Do you need to hire someone to change the plates over your outlets? Probably not. Can you rewire lighting in your dining room yourself? Maybe, but it could be more cost effective, not to mention more safe, to hire a professional. Ask around and do your research on what can be done yourself, and what needs to be done by a pro before you start anything.

Measure your space once, measure again, and then have someone else measure! Accurate measurements, especially when there isn’t a lot of room for error, are important to your design. An inch or two may not seem like a big difference at first, but those small, incorrect measurements can add up to big problems later on in the process – when it will be more difficult to correct.

Make safety a priority
Always renovate safely. This may be easier with smaller projects, but for more involved renovations that include demolitions, plumbing projects, or electrical work, it may be a better idea to hire a professional who knows what he or she is doing, and who understands building codes and property laws. This ties in with your prep-work, as safety is one of the most important parts of any project – financially, aesthetically, and in regards to your physical well-being.

Create a realistic budget and needs list
We all have big dreams of what we want our designer kitchen to look like, but recycled glass counter-tops and a wine storage cooler are not necessarily realistic items for everyone. Again, do your research when it comes to surfaces and materials, and really think about what your personal needs are before you purchase items you will rarely or never use. For example, instead of a cooler, maybe a wine rack will do the job perfectly well.

Once you create a realistic budget, you can develop a project timeline, or, decide to delay renovation in order to save up for certain items you really can’t live without. And, create a contingency fund so if you find mold behind that wall you’re knocking down, you don’t have to cancel that wine cooler in order to pay for damages and unplanned repairs.

Choose personal style over general trends
Yes, gold fixtures and wallpaper are “in” right now, but if you absolutely hate wallpaper, and prefer silver over gold, then you don’t want to incorporate those things into your home. Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it is right for you; it’s your home, so always preference your own style over a trend. Plus, next year those trends may be completely different, while your personal style is timeless.

Repurpose or donate
Replacing your old armchair with one that more suits your style and new living room? Simplifying your bathroom or kitchen storage and taking out those cabinets? Consider donating to a foundation such as Habitat for Humanity and their local ReStores which offer gently used housewares and materials to all members of the public. Or, use those old cabinets in a garage or storage shed; you’ll add more storage space without having to purchase anything new!

Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comment section, and happy renovating!

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